HelloSpoon: A fun, affordable mealtime assistant for people with upper limb disabilities
Shaped like a baby elephant, HelloSpoon is a robot intended to help children and elderly with upper limb difficulties and special needs to have a fun and happy mealtime. The assistive robot recently launched on Indiegogo, and is available for $399 US (for early-adopters). A developer version is also available for $199 US, making HelloSpoon the most affordable feeding machine in existence by far (compare $4000 US for My Spoon and $5000 US for Neater Eater).
How do we make HelloSpoon so affordable in comparison to the competition? The main reason is because HelloSpoon is a smartphone app:
This relegates the processor, speaker and microphone to the user’s smartphone, drastically cutting the cost of production. If a robot is intended to improve people’s lives it shouldn’t be expensive, right?
Also, unlike other mealtime assistants, HelloSpoon is meant to be a companion and not just a feeding machine. Users can talk to HelloSpoon using voice commands, and HelloSpoon can answer back and play songs while scooping food, and does a little dance when the user decides to stop eating. It’s interactions like these that make mealtime more entertaining and help to establish a bond between the user and the robot.
We know that every user is different and so HelloSpoon’s behaviours can be customized to suit the user’s individual needs and preferences. For example, we are developing a profile system where HelloSpoon will behave playfully when interacting with kids, and respectfully when interacting with elderly users.
My name is Luis Garcia, and I’m a recently graduated 23-year-old Mechatronics Engineer from Sinaloa, Mexico; I’m also the developer, designer, programmer and crazy guy behind the HelloSpoon robot. I have been developing HelloSpoon for the past year and a half from my bedroom – proving that sometimes you don’t need a big robotics laboratory to start something great! But now it’s time to show HelloSpoon to the world, and so I am asking for your support to help me bring mealtime independence to those in need.
Your support will be reflected in the improvement of HelloSpoon’s motions and robustness for the robotic trunk. Also, it will help me to launch my startup, QOLbotics (Quality of Life Robotics), and bring affordable robotics solutions that improve quality of life for people in need.
You can learn more about HelloSpoon on:
Please support the HelloSpoon robot campaign – inviting other people to support this development will be amazing to!